Fighting the Flu
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. The flu is a serious, contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. This flu season, it is likely that flu viruses will spread along with coronavirus.
The flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. It can reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. Contracting both the flu and COVID-19, one right after the other, can greatly affect your health and ability to recover.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should speak to their medical provider and consider getting the flu vaccine. It will help reduce your chances of contracting and spreading the flu. You can also help care for a loved one who may be at high risk of contracting the flu by helping make sure they get their flu shot, too. Most insurance providers will cover the cost of a flu vaccine.
CDC Recommends a Flu Vaccine as the Best Way to Protect Against the Flu:
• The flu vaccine protects against three or four different influenza viruses, depending on which vaccine you get.
• Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
• Vaccination is particularly important for people at high risk for serious flu- related complications and their close contacts. (People at high risk include infants, pregnant women, kids and adults with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease, and adults ages 65 and older.)
Preventive Actions YOU Can Take to Help Stop the Spread of Flu:
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow, arm or disposable tissue.
• Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you or your child are sick for at least 24 hours after symptoms go away.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently. This applies to surfaces that anyone will come into contact with at work, school, or home.
The flu can cause a fever, cough, body aches, chills, and other symptoms similar to COVID-19. We want to remind you that flu activity usually begins to increase in late November or December. Remember, it takes a couple of weeks after the vaccination for the body to build an immunity.
Let us all stay healthy this flu season.